It seems too good to be true, but a little-known company named Hott has made an Android tablet that it can sell to distributors for $92.
The Hott MD500 is a 4.8-inch touch screen device with 800-by-480 resolution, running a vanilla version of Android. In this YouTube video, as posted by ARMDevices.net, a company representative gleefully calls the device an “iPad Killer” — a term that makes me cringe, but at least he’s confident about it. The device does have a nice industrial design that sort of resembles a first-generation iPhone, with an aluminum back and narrow bezel.
Video playback seems fairly smooth, with maybe a chop here and there as the tablet played The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift in the video. Hott claims that the MD500 will run any video codec, and it also supports apps from the Android Market. The tablet runs on an ARM9 Rockchip processor, I’m guessing 600 MHz given that it’s the same brand of chip used in Archos’ $179 7-inch tablet.
What’s the catch? First, there’s no MicroSD card included, so the retail price will increase if distributors decide to throw one in. Then you’ve got the distributor markup to deal with, so expect a price that’s less than Archos’ 7-incher, but probably a bit higher than $100. Also, there’s Wi-Fi, but no mention of 3G, which is a shame now that U.S. carriers are starting to come around to the idea of small, data-only tablets.
There is of course the question of whether this will be available stateside anyway. Hott says the tablet will go into mass production in April, but distribution plans are unknown. Still, if a tablet can be produced for less than $100 , it bodes well for the category in general.